The FINANCIAL — iPhone Plus Ltd, the small company that is famous for selling unauthorized Apple products in Tbilisi, has sold more than 2,500 units of iPads and 12,500 iPhones in Georgia.
The FINANCIAL — iPhone Plus Ltd, the small company that is famous for selling unauthorized Apple products in Tbilisi, has sold more than 2,500 units of iPads and 12,500 iPhones in Georgia. The total worth of products sold is approximately 20 million GEL, which could have belonged to Hamaki LLC, the authorized dealer of Apple in Georgia, had Apple given them the rights to distribute iPhones in Georgia as well as ship iPads simultaneously in parallel with sales throughout the world.
The number of iPads sold by iPhone Plus Ltd reached 35 units in the first day and 250 units within the first 10 days of its introduction to Georgia on 19 April. Since then the company has sold more than 2,500 units.
Official iPad sale in Georgia began on July 23, as in many other countries, including Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
“The sale of iPads started, as planned, on July 23. Prices begin at 833 USD and sales are going strong,” declared Davitashvili, Hamaki LLC.
iPads at iPhone Plus Ltd cost 1,549 GEL for 16 GB + WiFi and 1,749 GEL for 32 GB + WiFi.
Despite the fact that no iPhones are officially being brought to Georgia by mobile operators and there is no equivalent case of Orange distributing Apple production in Georgia, iPhone Plus Ltd is performing pretty well with annual turnover of 25 million USD.
Company sales of just iPhones and iPads have reached 15,000 units. The number of iPads sold has exceeded 2,500. iPhone sales have reached 12,500, out of which 3,500 units were 32 GB, 3,500 were 16 GB and 5,500 – 8 GB.
“iPhone Plus is selling the latest cutting-edge technologies. We have just introduced the iPhone 4. Despite the high price of the product, which is 5,555 GEL, there is still demand for it on the Georgian market. However we also have the latest 8 GB iPhone 3G which we offer for just 1,499 GEL (we previously had only 16 and 32 GB),” said Mamuka Margishvili, Director of iPhone Plus Ltd.
The products at iPhone Plus are imported from different countries, mainly from Italy, Japan, England, America and China.
“Georgian customers are fond of Apple products, of the phones and music players most of all. Our shop plans to widen its chain in the nearest future and bring even more of the latest technology to Georgia. Our products are perfect, high quality and modern,” declared Margishvili.
iPhone Plus has expanded its primary business adding a new branch on Chavchavadze Avenue. Margishvili suggests that the next branch location will probably be in Batumi.
“Our staff consists of 17 employees at present. As we plan to expend our chain we will consequently be hiring more employees. What’s more I should mention that the salaries are quite high and competitive actually. Consultants’ salaries are ranging from 800 to 1,200 GEL,” said Margishvili.
“iPhone Ltd is violating numerous license agreements and trademarks,” declared Davitashvili.
“Products sold through non-authorized locations such as iPhone Ltd, are not eligible for international Apple warranty. It takes time due to legal procedures, but iPhone Ltd will be held responsible for trademark violation sooner or later,” she explained.
“iPhone distribution is linked to cellular operators and is not going to happen until one of the local mobile phone operators teams up with Apple to bring iPhones to the Georgian market,” said Natalia Davitashvili, CEO of Hamaki LLC, Authorized Apple Dealer in Georgia.
“Another option is for one of the European or US cellular operators that already have contracts with Apple to start operations in Georgia, like what happened in Armenia with Orange,” said Davitashvili.
According to Davitashvili, Orange entered the Armenian market a while ago. Orange has a contract with Apple regarding iPhone distribution. That’s how iPhones have become legally available in Armenia.
“The mobile communications industry in Georgia is the most advanced, competitive and highly invested sector in the country. As the serious international operators such as Magticom further advance into high speed mobile internet technologies such as 3G, LTE and EVDO this problem will be addressed and we can expect to see Apple iPhones and other smart phones more readily available,” declared David Lee, General Director of Magticom.
“Until the illegal content freely available on some local sites is at least partially restricted, this problem will continue,” added Lee.
“Georgia is a very small market for Apple, and the country is still being perceived as part of CIS by Apple,” declared Davitashvili.